Brewing industry in Bulgaria notes with growth its 135 anniversary of its founding

At the beginning of 2015 over 6,500 breweries operate in the European Union countries. Breweries with annual production below 1,000 hectoliters are just over 4,500, or approximately 70% of the total. Leaders on the number of breweries are Britain with 1,700, followed by Germany with 1,350 and France with 660. For comparison, in Bulgaria the number of operating breweries is 16, of which 12 are small with an annual production of less than 250 hectoliters. Six largest breweries hold approximately 94-95% market share in Bulgaria.

Beer sector in Bulgaria employs approximately 25,000 people. Of them, 2,500 are employed in enterprises producing beer and the rest are involved indirectly in the sector. On a European level the sector employs directly and indirectly over two million people, representing about 1% of the total employed workforce in Europe.

In 2015 in Bulgaria were sold 5.3 million hectoliters of beer, which compared to sales in 2014 reports over 2% growth year over year (YOY). Only revenues from VAT (50 m.) and Excise (40m.) insert around 100 million BGN annually into the Treasury. The added value of the sector in the country is estimated at over 300 million BGN.  Nearly 100 million of them are generated directly from the beer manufacturers. The rest are distributed in other activities starting from the collection of raw materials from the field and finishing with the purchase of finished products. Over 300 million BGN of Investments were made over the past five years by the brewers in Bulgaria. In addition to new production facilities, logistics facilities and equipment, part of the amount have been invested in environmental protection.

While looking for the right solution to attract the interest of end customers, the breweries in Bulgaria have created more than 40 new beers and just over 100 new types of packaging. The trend that has emerged in recent years to strengthen the demand for glass package design (~ 25%) decreasing the plastic ones and also increase in the consumption of beer in cans (~ 10%). The increased consumption of beer in a bar leads to an increases in the quantity of beer sold in kegs (5%).

In terms of beer consumption in 2015, Bulgaria is positioned in golden middle with 73.5 liters per person compared to 72 liters over the past few years. As expected on the top of the rankings is the Czech Republic with 156 liters of beer per person, followed by Ireland with 131 liters and Germany with 115 liters of beer per person.

Following the trends expected over the next five years in production and consumption of beer in Europe the beer consumption is expected to continue to increase.